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Old 02-02-2012, 10:21 AM   #1
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Soccer Riot in Egypt - 74 dead, Hundreds Injured

Egyptians are far beyond fanatical when it comes to soccer:

Egypt's army, police blamed for deadly soccer riot - World - CBC News

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Scores of Egyptian soccer fans were crushed to death while others were fatally stabbed or suffocated after being trapped in a long narrow corridor trying to flee rival fans armed with knives, clubs and stones, in the country's worst ever soccer violence that killed at least 74 people, witnesses and health officials said Thursday.

Many Egyptians, from the public to lawmakers, on Thursday blamed the police and the country's ruling military for failing to prevent the rioting the night before in the Mediterranean coastal city of Port Said.

Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri, in an emergency parliamentary session, announced he has dissolved the Egyptian Soccer Federation's board and referred its members for questioning by prosecutors about the violence. He also said the governor of Port Said province and the area's police chief have resigned.

Several lawmakers said the lapse was intentional, aimed at stoking the country's insecurity since the Feb. 11 fall of former leader Hosni Mubarak.

Some accused the police of allowing the riot to happen out of vengeance against the ultras — die-hard soccer fans who are bitter enemies of the police and have been among the most aggressive protesters over the past year.

The ultras, backers of Al-Ahly club, were at the forefront of violent protests a year ago that led to the collapse of the police force, and in more recent months, they have clashed with soldiers during rallies demanding an end to military rule.

In an emergency session, Parliament Speaker Saad el-Katatni, of the Muslim Brotherhood, accused security authorities of hesitating to act, putting "the revolution in danger."

"This is a complete crime," said Abbas Mekhimar, head of parliament's defense committee. "This is part of the scenario of fueling chaos against Egypt."

Protesters flock to Tahrir Square

Thousands of protesters converged on Cairo's Tahrir Square — the epicentre of the uprising that ousted Mubarak last year — carrying the red flag of the city's Al-Ahly soccer club and the national banner. They then marched to the nearby Interior Ministry to protest the police inaction and call for retribution for the 74 people who died in the world's worst soccer violence in 15 years.

The protesters raised flags of Al-Ahly and Zamalek, another top team with its own Ultras group, and Egyptian flags. Some held black banners reading: "Mourning."

The riot at the stadium in Port Said erupted Wednesday when fans of the local team, Al-Masry, stormed the field following a rare 3-1 win against Al-Ahly, one of Egypt's most popular clubs.

Al-Masry supporters, armed with knives, sticks and stones, chased Al-Ahly players and fans, who ran toward the exits and up the stands to escape, according to witnesses.

Lines of riot police in the stadium largely did nothing to intervene, witnesses said. At one point, the stadium lights went out, plunging it into darkness. At the time, the TV sportscaster announcing the match said authorities shut them off to "calm the situation."

"We were surprised the police let them in that easy. The numbers were huge," said Ahmed Ghaffar, one of the visiting Al-Ahly fans at the stadium.
People 'left to kill each other'

As many Al-Ahly fans crowded into the corridor leading out of the stadium, they were trapped, with the doors at the other end locked.

"Layers of people" were "stuck over each other because there was no other exit," Ghaffar tweeted on Thursday. "We were between two choices, either death coming from behind us, or the closed doors."

He said Al-Masry fans beat Al-Ahly fans who fell on the floor.

Mahmoud Ibrahim, 22, a survivor who on Thursday was at a Cairo morgue where two of his dead friends were taken, said that after the lights went out, people were left "to kill each other."

He ran into the corridor. "We went down trying to get out and everyone was pushing. Under me was more than three people and I am being pushed. Everyone is pushing trying to breathe," he said.

Al-Masry fan, Mohammed Mosleh, who posted his account on Facebook, said he saw "thugs with weapons" on his side in the stadium where police presence was meagre.

"This was unbelievable," he said. "We were supposed to be celebrating, not killing people. We defeated Al-Ahly, something I saw twice only in my lifetime. All the people were happy. Nobody expected this."

Health ministry official Hisham Sheha said the deaths were caused by stabs by sharp tools, brain hemorrhage and concussions.

"All those carried to hospitals were already dead bodies," Sheha told state TV.

TV footage showed Al-Ahly players rushing for their locker room as fistfights broke out among the hundreds of fans swarming on to the field. Some men had to rescue a manager from the losing team as he was being beaten. Riot police stood by, appearing overwhelmed.

The Interior Ministry said 74 people died, including one police officer, and 248 were injured, 14 of them police. A local health official initially said 1,000 people were injured and it was not clear how severely. Security forces arrested 47 people for involvement in the violence, the statement said.

Osama Yassin, head of sports committee in parliament, said the parliament holds the interior minister, who is in charge of police, responsible for the violence. He demanded ouster of the prosecutor general Prosecutor-General Mahmoud Abdel-Meguid to guarantee "transparent investigations."

The Ultras, meanwhile, accused the military council and former members of Mubarak's regime of retaliating against them for their role in the uprising last year against Mubarak and in anti-military protests since.

"They want to punish us and execute us for our participation in the revolution against suppression," the Ultras of Al-Ahly group said in a statement. It vowed a "new war in defense of our revolution."
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:25 AM   #2
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yeah i heard it on the news last night...
it's messed up
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:46 AM   #3
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Wow that's really fucked up...
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:00 PM   #4
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Vancouver riot has got nothing on this.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:42 PM   #5
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arguing over men kicking a ball.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:47 PM   #6
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lol wow vancouver stanley cup riot is nothing compared to this
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:24 PM   #7
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Classic case of soccer hooliganism, but I didn't know that club rivalries to the point of fighting was done outside of European countries where people REALLY love their teams. For more info, look up The Real Football Factories, and the Worldwide versions. Some places get as crazy as organized fights before games.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:35 PM   #8
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what i disnt get when i saw it on the news is how the team WON and their fans were happy and statted the riot ...

any excuses like the political tension or anything are bullshit. idiocy is all it is
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:09 AM   #9
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hockey is joke compared of soccer.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Turbo E View Post
arguing over men kicking a ball.
Doesn't beat arguing about an invisible man in the sky though!
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:58 AM   #11
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oops...wrong thread..

Last edited by impulse777; 02-03-2012 at 04:04 AM.
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